There was a man who always fell asleep in church because the preacher was so long-winded. The pastor got so agitated about it that he gave one of the deacons a stick to hit him over the head with every time he fell asleep. Once the man dozed off, the deacon tapped him on the head and woke him up. A few minutes later, he starting dozing again, so the deacon hit him again, this time a little harder, again waking him up, but only temporarily. When he fell asleep the third time, the deacon hit him so hard he knocked him out of the pew and onto the floor, almost knocking him out. Rather than responding in anger, the groggy man yelled out, “Hit me again; I can still hear him preaching!”
Over the coming 8 weeks, we’re going to be sharing messages on what it means to “experience” God. From a Jewish perspective, to “experience” God was identical to knowing God. In other words, to know God was to experience Him through a personal relationship. Sadly, many believers today lack this ever-deepening experience with God because they are spiritually asleep. Jesus emphasized the importance of being spiritually awake when He told church members in Revelation 3:2 to “Wake up and strengthen all that remains before it dies…”
To experience God is to be in a vibrant, personal relationship with the Holy Spirit Who awakens us to the deeper realities of God. This coming Sunday, we’re going to consider three specific ways the Holy Spirit wants to awaken us. He wants to awaken us to the problem of our sin, to the promise of His salvation, and to the purpose of the Christian life.